Birth Plans – Yes or No?
In the past two weeks, I’ve attended three births, made five postpartum home visits, and taught two birth education classes. The end of January has been a magical one full of all things prenatal, birth, and postpartum.
In The BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series we approach the idea of birth plans a little differently. We approach them more as a deep dive into your preferences. We get to know who you are and your what you like/dislike. We pick apart a nine-page birth preferences worksheet. And, we create your own birth mission statement and discover your preferences.
While not nearly as in-depth as our in-person classes or even our in-class birth preferences sheet, here are two worksheets to help get you started. Use the worksheets below to get to know your preferences a little more:
The Circle Exercise:
Whether deciding which coffee to order or what features you want in a house, it feels great to know your intentions. The same is true of birth. But what happens when you don’t know what you want? Sometimes deciding what you want seems like a daunting task.
Use this simple yet powerful exercise to get clear. Place words and phrases that represent what you want in your birth inside the circle. Place what you don’t want in your birth outside of the circle. This could be ideas & emotions like “calm,” or “fear,” or concrete things such as “lavender essential oils,” “my favorite body pillow,” or “loud music.”
Take these worksheets and use them for yourself. Understand that your birth philosophy may not line up with your doctor or midwife and that’s okay. However, make a change or accept that path, but know that the doctor or midwife is the quarterback of the team. Often times women are left with regret, sadness, and what-ifs because their expectations did not match the routine practices of the hospital or birth center. Get to know yourself and your desires and stand up for you!